Hundreds Attend the ASWA Memorial Service for Animals

11.11.18 Park Lane

Hundreds attended the War Memorial Service for Animals, organised by the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) at the Animals in War Memorial in London’s Park Lane on Sunday 11th November 2018 at 3.00pm. The service was led by Rev. Helen Hall. Many wreaths were laid, including those by ASWA, AIA and CCA.

AIA wreath

Fr. Martin Henig read some of the prayers including the following intercession:

Father, we pray for all the animals, who have suffered in war as a direct result of armed conflict, we remember , in particular on this day, the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, those killed in that conflict, while serving the aims of humans. Let us not forget our own sin, our own culpability in so often treating other animals with indifference and cruelty.
They could not choose:
Let us remember them.

Father, we remember the significant part that horses have played over the centuries in warfare; we remember how often they have been too often simply as part of the logistics and infrastructure of conflict, especially in the First World War when horses were taken from farms and paddocks where they were loved to share in the brutality of the Front. Let us remember how they loved life in all its variety, how their lives on this earth were more often than not shortened by warfare.
They could not choose:
Let us remember them.

Father, so many animals from elephants, camels and donkeys to dolphins and pigeons have served in human conflict. Many of them are figured on this beautiful memorial in Park Lane. You did not create them for this, but they were forced to take part, witnesses to human sin.
They could not choose:
Let us remember them.

Father, we pray for dogs, the oldest animal friends of humans, who have lived with us, shared our lives and our conflicts. We are grateful for the companionship they have given, not only in peacetime but in war to those serving far from home for whom they were a loving, loyal presence. We pray for Nowzad dogs, for the mission to befriend and to save, in which both soldiers and civilians have remembered and come to the aid of their canine friends.
They could not choose:
Let us remember them.

So many animals are killed as a result of habitat destruction in war and weapon training both on sea and on land. Like the heavy collateral damage suffered by civilians caught up in conflict, they too are victims of our wars, victims of our inability to live at peace with each other. We remember our broken promise to Almighty God be gentle stewards of creation and bring to our penitent minds how all creation is groaning for release. Father forgive!
They could not choose:
Let us remember them.

Heavenly Father, as we hear the Last Post sounding, may we recall those groans of creation and live in the hope that all flesh will be redeemed, on the day that swords will be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, and we will live at last at peace with all the other animals, those of the land, of the water and of the air, in the Heavenly Kingdom.
Amen.

A short period of reflection will follow.

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